Over 60 young people have descended on Derrygonnelly this week as Fermanagh hosts its first ever European Trans and Intersex summer Camp.
The camp is being organised by GenderJam NI, an organisation which supports the North’s young trans community. The group arrived at the Tir Navar Centre on Sunday for their second annual residential camp, which was held last year in Reykir, northern Iceland.
The camp is open to all trans, non-binary (meaning they do not identify as being either male or female), questioning and intersex people aged from16 to 30. The young peole visiting the county this week hail from across Ireland, Slovenia, Norway, Iceland, Germany and Russia
Throughout their week-long stay they will be engaging in a range of workshops, social events and trips to some of Fermanagh’s top tourist attractions.
Liam Jones who runs Tir Navar where the group are based, hopes they will be warmly welcomed to the area.
“They are quite a unique but lovely group of people from all across Europe. From a cultural point of view, their arrival is certainly something different for Derrygonnelly. The group were a bit apprehensive when they first arrived about how they would be received as they don’t want to cause any conflict.
“So far it has all been very positive because we did engage with business owners in Enniskillen beforehand who assured us that they would be well-received.”
Among those delighted to see the group visiting Fermanagh is 20-year-old Ashley Jones from Enniskillen, who has personal experience of the pressure to identify as either male or female on an almost daily basis. Born Aidan Jones, Ash has changed her name and pronouns and started hormone treatment in the last 12 months.
“It’s very exciting to see the Trans Summer Camp visiting Fermanagh and I know what a life-changing experience they are going through so I hope they enjoy their time here,” she said.
Cllr Stephen McCann, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is hoping to visit the group to formally welcome them to the area.
“As the first citizen, I look forward to welcoming the group to the area and I hope they enjoy their time here.”
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